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  • Version control and data provenance in charts, slides, and marketing materials that derive from code ouput

    - by EMS
    I develop as part of a small team that mostly does research and statistics stuff. But from the output of our code, other teams often create promotional materials, slides, presentations, etc. We run into a big problem because the marketing team (non-programmers) tend to use Excel, Adobe products, or other tools to carry out their work, and just want easy-to-use data formats from us. This leads to data provenance problems. We see email chains with attachments from 6 months ago and someone is saying "Hey, who generated this data. Can you generate more of it with the recent 6 months of results added in?" I want to help the other teams effectively use version control (my team uses it reasonably well for the code, but every other team classically comes up with many excuses to avoid it). For version controlling a software project where the participants are coders, I have some reasonable understanding of best practices and what to do. But for getting a team of marketing professionals to version control marketing materials and associate metadata about the software used to generate the data for the charts, I'm a bit at a loss. Some of the goals I'd like to achieve: Data that supported a material should never be associated with a person. As in, it should never be the case that someone says "Hey Person XYZ, I see you sent me this data as an attachment 6 months ago, can you update it for me?" Rather, data should be associated with the code and code-version of any code that was used to get it, and perhaps a team of many people who may maintain that code. Then references for data updates are about executing a specific piece of code, with a known version number. I'd like this to be a process that works easily with the tech that the marketing team already uses (e.g. Excel files, Adobe file, whatever). I don't want to burden them with needing to learn a bunch of new stuff just to use version control. They are capable folks, so learning something is fine. Ideally they could use our existing version control framework, but there are some issues around that. I think knowing some general best practices will be enough though, and I can handle patching that into the way our stuff works now. Are there any goals I am failing to think about? What are the time-tested ways to do something like this?

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  • What's the best way of marketing to programmers?

    - by Stuart
    Disclaimer up front - I'm definitely not going to include any links in here - this question isn't part of my marketing! I've had a few projects recently where the end product is something that developers will use. In the past I've been on the receiving end of all sorts of marketing - as a developer I've gotten no end of junk - 1000s of pens, tee-shirts and mouse pads; enough CDs to keep my desk tea-free; some very useful USB keys with some logos I no longer recognise; a small forest's worth of leaflets; a bulging spam folder full of ignored emails, etc... So that's my question - What are good ways to market to developers? And as an aside - are developers the wrong people to target? - since we so often don't have a purchasing budget anyways!

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  • Should programmers itemize testing for projects? [on hold]

    - by Patton77
    I recently hired a programming team to do a port of my iPad app to the iPhone and Android platforms. Now, in a separate contract, I am asking them to implement a bunch of tips on how to play the app, similar like you would find in Candy Crush or Cut the Rope. They want to charge 12 hours @ $35/hr for the "Testing all of the Tips", telling me that normally it would take them more than 25 hours but that they will 'bear the difference'. I am not familiar with this level of itemization, but maybe it's a new practice? I am used to devs doing their own quality control, and then having a testing/acceptance period. They are using Cocos 2D-X, and they say that the tips going to multiple platforms makes all of the hours jack up. I feel like they might be overcharging, and it's difficult for me to know because it's kind of like with a mechanic. "It took us 5 hours to replace the radiator". How can you dispute that? It seems to me that most of you would charge for the work but NOT for hours that you are 'testing'. Am I missing something? Thanks for any help and advice you can give!

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  • Recommendations for books and training resources covering for Design for Programmers

    - by Jon Hopkins
    Off the back of one of the answers to this question (currently the second highest scoring), it made me think, what's the best way to get developers up to speed on good basic design principals. I'm not talking about making them into graphic designers but some developers almost take pride in ugly UIs, seeing them as unimportant next to the functionality. What primarily interested in are the graphic design elements rather than the usability aspects which is pretty well covered by books such as Don't Make Me Think. Use of white space, emphasis, font selection and a million other things I'm probably not even aware of. I know people are often seen as artistic or not artistic but surely the basics can be taught and someone has written a book covering this?

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  • Should programmers itemize testing in testing? [on hold]

    - by Patton77
    I recently hired a programming team to do a port of my iPad app to the iPhone and Android platforms. Now, in a separate contract, I am asking them to implement a bunch of tips on how to play the app, similar like you would find in Candy Crush or Cut the Rope. They want to charge 12 hours @ $35/hr for the "Testing all of the Tips", telling me that normally it would take them more than 25 hours but that they will 'bear the difference'. I am not familiar with this level of itemization, but maybe it's a new practice? I am used to devs doing their own quality control, and then having a testing/acceptance period. They are using Cocos 2D-X, and they say that the tips going to multiple platforms makes all of the hours jack up. I feel like they might be overcharging, and it's difficult for me to know because it's kind of like with a mechanic. "It took us 5 hours to replace the radiator". How can you dispute that? It seems to me that most of you would charge for the work but NOT for hours that you are 'testing'. Am I missing something? Thanks for any help and advice you can give!

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  • Website where you can see how other programmers write their code

    - by CuiPengFei
    I remember seeing a website where people upload videos of themselves writing code. However, I can not find that site now. The purpose is to see how others code, to see how they refactor their code, to see how they use their paradigms, etc. Update: I remember that the video contains almost no audio, it's only one guy writing code, making mistakes, typos, fixing mistakes. If I read the final code, I can figure out how it works, but if I see how the code was wrote and what kind of mistakes were made along the way, then I can better understand it. I guess this is the main reason that they make this kind of video.

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  • Scaling Scrum within a group of 100s of programmers

    - by blunders
    Most Scrum teams lean toward 7-15 people **, though it's not clear how to scale Scrum among 100s of people, or how the effectiveness of a given team might be compared to another team within the group; meaning beyond just breaking the group into Scrum teams of 7-15 people, it's unclear how efforts between the teams are managed, compared, etc. Any suggestions related to either of these topics, or additional related topics that might be of more importance to account for in planning a large scale SCRUM grouping? ** In reviewing research related to the suggested size of software development teams, which appears to be the basis for the suggested Scrum team size, I found what appears to be an error in the research which oddly appears to show that bigger teams (15+ ppl), not smaller teams (7 ppl) are better. UPDATE, "Re: Scrum doesn't scale": Made huge amounts of progress on personally researching the topic, but thought I'd respond to the general belief of some that Scrum doesn't scale by citing a quote from Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn : Scrum Does Scale: You have to admire the intellectual honesty of the earliest agile authors. They were all very careful to say that agile methodolgies like Scrum were for small projects. This conservatism wasn’t because agile or Scrum turned out to be unsuited for large projects but because they hadn’t used these processes on large projects and so were reluctant to advise their readers to do so. But, in the years since the Agile Manifesto and the books that came shortly before and after it, we have learned that the principles and practices of agile development can be scaled up and applied on large projects, albeit it with a considerable amount of overhead. Fortunately, if large organizations use the techniques described regarding the role of the product owner, working with a shared product backlog, being mindful of dependencies, coordinating work among teams, and cultivating communities of practice, they can successfully scale a Scrum project. SOURCE: (ran across the book thanks to Ladislav Mrnka answer)

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  • Grad school guides for professional programmers

    - by Peter Turner
    I've exhausted my googling abilities on this search (too many ad-sites peddling online degrees) and turned to my favorite resource, ya'll. I'm looking for a website, book or long winded answer that breaks down graduate programs at universities and colleges by their geographical area / online capability; relative cost; prestige; difficulty; applicability to software engineering, computer science or a project management MBA; and years to complete.

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  • How should programmers handle email-username identity theft?

    - by Craige
    Background I recently signed up for an iTunes account, and found that somebody had fraudulently used MY email to register their iTunes account. Why Apple did not validate the email address, I will never know. Now I am told that I cannot use my email address to register a new iTunes account, as this email address is linked to an existing account. This got be thinking... Question How should we as developers handle email/identity theft? Obviously, we should verify that an email address belongs to the person it is said to belong to. Why Apple did not do this in my case, I have no idea. But lets pretend we use email address for login/account identification, and something slipped though the cracks (be it our end, or the users). How should we handle reports of fraudulent accounts?

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  • Programmers and Database Professionals in Performance Based Companies

    - by swisscheese
    Anybody here work for a company (or know of someone that does) in the fields of programming or anything related to DBs and not have set work hours? Where you are paid for performance rather than how many hours you sit in a chair at the office? Any project / company I have been apart of always has pretty strict primary hours with the "great opportunity" / expectation to stay until the job is done. Is this type of flexibility really feasible in a group environment in these fields? Would pay for performance work within a company in these fields? With having strict primary hours I notice a lot of inefficiencies. Some weeks or days there is only so much that can be done (for whatever the reason may be) and if your work is done it doesn't help moral to force someone to stay for 8 hrs/day or 40hrs/week if the next week they may have to pull a 60+hr work week. I know that a lot of flexibility can come from working independently or as a consultant so this question really does not encompass those types of positions.

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  • What's the most important trait of a programmer desired by peer programmers [closed]

    - by greengit
    Questions here talk about most important programming skills someone is supposed to possess, and, a lot of great answers spring up. The answers and the questioners seem mostly interested on qualities related to getting a better job, nailing some interview, things desired by boss or management, or improving your programming abilities. One thing that often gets blown over is the genuine consideration for what traits peers want. They don't much value things like you're one of those 'gets things done' people for the company, or you never miss a deadline, or your code is least painful to review and debug, or you're team player with fantastic leading abilities. They probably care more if you're helpful, are a refreshing person to talk to, you're fun to program in pair with, everybody wants you to review their code, or something of that nature. I, for one, would care that I come off to my peers as a pleasurable programmer to work with, as much as I care about my impression on my boss or management. Is this really significant, and if yes, what are the most desirable traits peers want from each other.

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  • Best keyboard drawer for programmers?

    - by David Pfeffer
    I'm a programmer with pretty severe neck problems. I program with three monitors, and I've found that my desk's short depth causes me to have to rotate my neck too much to see the "wing" screens. I can't get a deeper desk due to space restrictions. I'm looking for a keyboard drawer that can be installed onto a desk. However, I like the height of the keyboard on the desk. I'd like a drawer that is extremely low-profile/slim. My keyboard is less than 1" tall, so it'll fit pretty much anywhere. My ideal product would slide out from under my desk and "pop up" so that its surface is even with the desk. Does anything slim and nice like this exist? I'll even consider replacing the desk if a desk exists with this built-in.

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  • Linux Books For Windows/C++ Programmers?

    - by John Dibling
    I'm a Windows C++ programmer with a great deal of experience, and I'm looking for book recommendations to get up to speed with programming in Linux (specifically RHE 6). Ideally, I'd like a book geared specifically to my needs. Something along the lines of "Linux C++ Programming for Windows Experts" would be nice. :) I'm open to any recommendations you have. My domain is primarily financial market data servers (no GUIs) and simple console apps. I do a lot of multithreading, a lot of networking, not a lot of user interface stuff. I know C++0x, but our production codebase can only use C++. Thanks for your recommendations for books and/or resources!

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  • Choosing between two programmers: experience vs. passion

    - by Duke
    I am in a position where I have to hire a programmer and have the option of 2 candidates, the first has experience but he doesn't have a passion for coding and he says so while the second doesn't have the experience but he has the passion, he did well in the interview and is certified. We have the resources to train someone, but I really don't want to blow this process and hire someone who will be disappointing can anyone help me as to how to approach this situation.

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  • University Choices For Programmers

    - by Michael
    I've noticed that the majority of eminent hackers seem to have come from prestigious universities. How true is this, and is it important to have this type of background to become prominent in the programming field? I don't necessarily have the means to attend a top school, but I have the desire to work among the best. Is it possible without coming from a highly-regarded program? Is graduate study at a good school more important than undergraduate in this regard?

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  • Should I demand unit-testing from programmers?

    - by Morten
    I work at a place, where we buy a lot of IT-projects. We are currently producing a standard for systems-requirements for the requisition of future projects. In that process, We are discussing whether or not we can demand automated unit testing from our suppliers. I firmly believe, that proper automated unit-testing is the only way to document the quality and stability of the code. Everyone else seems to think that unit-testing is an optional method that concerns the supplier alone. Thus, we will make no demands of automated unit-testing, continous testing, coverage-reports, inspections of unit-tests or any of the kind. I find this policy extremely frustrating. Am I totally out of line here? Please provide me with arguments for any of the oppinions.

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  • Choosing between two programmers: experience vs. passion

    - by Duke
    I am in a position where I have to hire a programmer and have the option of 2 candidates, the first has experience but he doesn't have a passion for coding and he says so while the second doesn't have the experience but he has the passion, he did well in the interview and is certified. We have the resources to train someone, but I really don't want to blow this process and hire someone who will be disappointing. Can anyone help me as to how to approach this situation?

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  • Approach on working with many programmers on one module/feature

    - by Panoy
    How can 2 or more developers code a certain feature/module of a software? Let's assume that the module is big and feature rich. How would they prevent each other from overlapping their code? Say, we have the same method but is implemented in a different way. Do you think it might be better to have one focused at a specific feature only? Is a version control system like Git would help solve the problem? Is it correct that it allows developers to have these "branches" and then merge it later on? What's your take on this?

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  • Top reasons why programmers are fired. [closed]

    - by Blankman
    Have you ever been fired before, or one of your colleagues? What were the main reasons for him being fired? The objective of this question is to get a list/description of other peoples experiences too see if we can come up with a theme of why people are let go. For those that work for consulting companies, I would guess one of the main reasons would be a developer is just too slow pumping out code. So my guesses would be: 1) attitude 2) too slow Please specify if you are saying something from experience or just guessing.

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  • Why are more programmers not freelance these days?

    - by Pierre 303
    Leaving the whole pie to only a few of them, amplifying the huge differences between the two status. Pay is a (huge) one, not having to do overtime is another. I leave the question open to hopefully get many great answers on all the different subjects that affects that feeling and decision not to go. EDIT: While this question is really global, I'll be interested in any studies, facts, articles, opinions regarding local markets such as US, India and even Australia in which I'm in love with. EDIT2: Bounty of 500 points for anyone that will come with recent studies on the subject. If multiple answers, will pick the one with the most upvotes.

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  • Testing loses its effectiveness if all programmers don't use them

    - by Jeff O
    Let's assume you are convinced that the extra time spent unit testing has merit and improves production. Does that still hold up when everyone working on the same code doesn't use them? This question makes me wonder if fixing tests that everyone doesn't use is a waste of time. If you correct a test so the new code will pass, you're assuming the new code is correct. The person updating the test better have a firm understanding of the reasoning behind the code change and decide if the test or the new code needs to be fixed. This much inconsistency in a team when it comes to testing is probably an indication of other problems as well. There is a certain amount of risk involved that someone else on the team will alter code that is covered by testing. Is this the point where testing becomes counter-productive?

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  • Looking for a short book on C# 2010 for experienced programmers

    - by Gaz Davidson
    Hi I'm an experienced programmer (C++, Java, Python, C, Objective-C, and others) and need to take a crash course in C# for my current job. I've never done any C# programming before though have read a bit about the syntax etc, I'm looking for a guide that quickly introduces advanced topics so I can get a handle on the language and begin hacking ASAP. Does anyone know of such a book? Amazon and Google are drawing a blank. Thanks in advance!

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  • What non-programming tools do programmers use?

    - by user828584
    I'm reading code complete with the intention of learning how to better structure my code, but I'm also learning a lot about how many aspects of programming something there are that aren't just writing the code. The book talks a lot about problem definition, determining the requirements, defining the structure, designing the code, etc. What tools are used for these non-writing steps of programming? Is there software that will help me design and plan out what I'm going to write before I do?

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  • Google Programmers

    - by seth
    As a soon-to-be software engineer, I have studied some languages during my time in college. I can name C, C++, Java, Scheme, Ruby, PHP, for example. However, one of the main principles in my college (recognized by many as the best in my country) is to teach us how to learn for ourselves and how to search the web when we have a doubt. This leads to a proactive attitude, when I need something, I go get it and this has worked so far for me. Recently, I started wondering though, how much development would I be able to do without internet access. The answer bugged me quite a bit. I know the concept of the languages, mostly I know what to do, but I was amazed by how "slow" things were without having the google to help in the development. The problem was mostly related to specific syntax but it was not without some effort that i solved some of the SPOJ problems in C++. Is this normal? Should I be worried and try to change something in my programming behaviour? UPDATE: I'll give a concrete example. Reading and writing to a file in java. I have done this about a dozen times in my life, yet every time I need to do it, I end up googling "read file java" and refreshing my memory. I completely understand the code, i fully understand what it does. But I am sure, that without google, it would take me a few tries to read and write correctly (if I had to sit in front of the screen with a blank page and write this without consulting any source whatsoever).

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  • "Never to forget information" for programmers [closed]

    - by Milan
    Hi there! I'm new to programming and I would like to make a list of most important pieces of knowledge of programming and CS that would be useful no matter what specific programming language I would use in the future. For instance, if I would make this kind of list for Law studies, there would be stuff like Articles of Constitution etc. Those pieces of information I would put in Anki, and repeat it from time to time. Speaking in terms of CS and programming I mean on the most useful: mathematical theorems algorithms (examples of elegant solutions, comparison of two solutions etc.) pieces of code anything else that is vital (and very handy) to have in mind Do you think that making this kind of knowledge list makes sense?

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